Aurora Borealis


I looked up
At a black-diamond sky
Crested with stars
And the moon burned gold in the Alaskan night.

And there in the west like a thief in the dark
Crept a shadowy wisp of smoky gray
Barely discernible
Like a falcon for its prey…

Then swift as a serpent it slithered through the air
In a blaze of green-blue light
And it lingered there
A strange, ethereal haze…

A flash from the east, I turned my head
A flash from the north, I turned again
And the heavens were splashed in shimmering light
Pastel blue ribbons brushed with crimson
In giant arcs did span the clouds
The bold, defiant strokes of an artist’s hand
Emblazoned on the canvas of the midnight sky.

I looked again
And the air exploded in billowing waves of sulfurous fire
Swirling mist
Diaphanous dust
Cascading color
What vaporous nymphs and spritely fauns
Danced there on the jeweled black
Pouring libations from invisible vials
Their cacophony of light midst the silent stars?

Then the wind blew softly ‘cross the arctic ice
And the goddess of night reclaimed her throne
Her ebony cloak enwrapped the skies
And cast its shadow on the sleeping Earth
Once more.

And I looked within
What awe and wonder
Had I heard with my eyes
And seen with my heart
For everything was nothing
And nothing was everything
But something wasn’t anything
As it was


(Previously published in Pulse, Oct. ’99)

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